Mass hearing tests suggest that 80% of the population of the United States has some sort of deficit in hearing in one ear or the other.1 Some of these have a handicap from the deficit. Estimates indicate that about 10% of the population has a hearing impairment severe enough that something prophylactic or therapeutic might be done about it,1-2 but even this does not mean that 18,000,000 people are severely and permanently handicapped by a lesion in both ears. However, in both lay and medical literature, statements based on the 1930 census to the effect that there are 15,000,000 people with "deafness" in the United States are encountered, and occasionally we meet the untenable assertion that one-third or more of these have otosclerosis. Such misleading assertions are usually associated with effusive enthusiasm for some new operative procedure, and the inference is that one-third of the deaf and hard
FOWLER EP, FAY TH. Hearing Impairment in a Medical Center Population. Arch Otolaryngol. 1961;73(3):295–300. doi:10.1001/archotol.1961.00740020303008
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